13 Feb 2007

Sacked PNG envoy charged over illegal visas

2:33 pm on 13 February 2007

Papua New Guinea's recalled ambassador to China, Max Rai, has been charged with issuing visas to Chinese nationals without approval from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The foreign affairs secretary, Gabriel Pepson, has told the Post Courier newspaper that Mr Rai received his charges last Friday.

Mr Pepson said Mr Rai has refused to return to PNG since cabinet terminated his appointment last November.

He says the Chinese government was expected to formally advise the PNG Government this week of its acceptance of the appointment of John Momis as the new ambassador.

Last week, the foreign minister, Paul Tiensten, said the issue of illegal immigrants continued to give his Department a bad name.